Photo credit: Chris Ashlee

Santa Monica, July 10, 2023 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, announce the launch of The Core Records led by Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Simon Tikhman, co-founders of a leading entertainment and talent management company, The Core Entertainment (TCE). The new global label venture will sign and develop new artists, working with UMG’s global network of industry-leading labels.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO, UMG said, “We love building upon our entrepreneurial culture, and are so pleased to welcome Chief and Simon who have a reputation for identifying some of the industry’s most promising artists.  We look forward to helping them grow their roster and drive global success for their artists.”

Tikhman, said “Our goal has always been to support artists on a global scale by creating new creative and commercial paths. We’d like to thank Sir Lucian for believing in our vision and for his commitment to developing and supporting artists and entrepreneurs.”

Zaruk, “We’re excited for this next evolution in The Core and honored to work with Sir Lucian and the team at UMG to help us continue to guide artists to develop their careers and brands. We’ve had a great time building The Core over the past few years and are excited to create a home for new artists with the incredible resources and support from UMG.”

Tikhman and Zaruk founded TCE in partnership with Live Nation in 2019 as an independent entertainment collective with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles, specializing in talent management, innovative business and strategic partnerships, and advancements in the music, technology, and lifestyle industries. Along with its roster of premier music talent, TCE also develops film and television projects and works with professional athletes.

TCE’s dynamic talent roster includes streaming sensation, chart-topping, genre-bending breakout star Bailey Zimmerman; diamond-certified, globally celebrated rock band Nickelback; emerging country music powerhouse Nate Smith; 12x Billboard chart-topping producer Austin Shawn; award-nominated pop band Valley (UMC/Capitol Records); rising Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN) country music stars Dillion James and Josh Ross (UMC/UMGN); country newcomer Rachel Wiggins and emerging songwriter (and hit collaborator with Bailey Zimmerman) Gavin Lucas. TCE ventures to raise the bar for career defining moments as it paves the way for a new generation of cultural trailblazers.

Tikhman and Zaruk were honored on Billboard’s 2023 Country Power Players list.